Uniform Of A Pilot

As a future pilot, you might be wondering what the uniform worn by pilots mean. To the untrained eye, all pilots wear the same uniform but to the trained eye, there are differences between the uniforms.

Airline companies have the liberty to choose any design or color scheme they might fancy for their uniforms.

History

khaki pants, boots, and other flying gear derived from military uniforms before the 1930s. Due to open, unheated cockpits, pilots had to wear this “outfit” to resist the extreme weather conditions.

However, in the 1930s, Pan American Airlines, a well-known former US international airline, remodelled and modernized the aviator style. With the debut of their “Clippers” line of flying boats, which are capable of landing and taking off from water surfaces while transporting passengers and cargo, the company chose to ditch the militaristic uniform in favor of navy-style clothing.

Other airlines took notice of Pan Am’s achievements and expansion as a result of the company’s expansion, and adopted a similar naval officers’ look for their crews in the hopes of imitating the company’s success.

The naval-style airline pilot uniform hasn’t evolved much since it was first introduced. An airline pilot’s uniform consists of a jacket (some double-breasted, some single-breasted), dark-colored slacks, a white shirt, a tie, epaulets, and a cap. Airlines, on the other hand, have a variety of uniform patterns and colors that distinguish them.

Uniform Meaning

The stripes on the pilot’s uniform indicate the qualification or level of experience of commercial pilots. Below are the meaning of the insignia on pilots uniform.

One Stripe epaulets are usually worn by pilots-in-training. In some cases, flight attendants are also spotted wearing this insignia.
Two Stripes are worn by flight engineers or second officers. Aside from being the third line of command, they are also qualified to fly planes.
Three Stripes indicate that the person is the co-pilot or second in command. They assist the captain through flight planning and updating communication and flight mechanisms.
Four Stripes insignia is worn by the captain; the one ultimately in charge of the safety and operations of the flight.

Samples

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